Thousands of postcards signed by determined South Australians will be presented to the Minister for Business Services and Consumers John Rau today at a Humane Choice Free Range Breakfast. These postcards represent the overwhelming support received from more than 18,000 South Australian consumers who are determined to endorse truth in labelling for eggs marked ‘free range’, meaning the stocking density would be capped at no more than 1,500 birds per hectare.
Lee McCosker, Chief Operating Officer for Humane Choice said, “The postcards send a powerful message because they targeted actual free range egg buyers having been distributed in the cartons of eggs produced by our Humane Choice true free range farmers.” The incredible response from the public verifies that free range egg buyers believe the intensification of free range, and systems that restrict or discourage outdoor access for the hens, simply fail to meet their expectations.
In June this year Minister Rau proposed a new industry code to settle this debate over a definition for ‘free range’, and once finalised it will make South Australia the only State in the nation to have taken such a critical initiative. McCosker continued, “We are delighted that thousands of South Australians have shown their strong support towards true free range farmers whose livelihoods have been compromised by the immoral behaviour of large egg corporations and the supermarket giants in their attempt to cash in on the genuine demand for free range produce.”
Minister Rau has received overwhelming support for his industry code that will only allow eggs produced by farms stocking 1,500 hens per hectare or less to be labelled ‘free range’. These eggs will stand out proudly on the shelf, clearly marked with the South Australian Free Range label, meaning South Australian consumers will finally be able to pick out true free range eggs easily, without being deceived.
South Australian’s are the only consumers in the country that will be given the opportunity to easily identify true free range eggs, making an informed purchasing decision. Now that genuine free range eggs will be easily identifiable, we hope that this translates into real choices being made available on the shelves of the major supermarkets. Throughout the rest of Australia there is still a confusing abundance of free range claims on eggs. We hope that this move supported by so many thousands of Australians will encourage the other States and the Federal Government, to finally act and put an end to such unnecessary controversy.